But though the reporting infrastructure slows over weekends, the virus does not. Later in the week, the data “catch up,” with higher-than-average numbers on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Holidays tend to bring the same delays as weekends, and Thanksgiving combines a long weekend with a holiday at the pandemic’s worst point yet. If the patterns that the COVID Tracking Project has documented over other holidays hold, in the next week, reporting will slow for a few days, then spike. While no one can say exactly how long labs will take to work through the holiday backlog, the current picture, of rapidly rising testing, cases, and deaths, could be blurred for days at a critical point in this third surge.
On top of the holiday-related data delays, the offices that report coronavirus data could be dealing with a larger volume of paperwork